Is exercise an intervention?
To the sedentary person… yes!
Because if you don’t exercise on a regular basis, it can seem horribly difficult and daunting to begin.
This might be you.
If so, the idea of starting a consistent exercise program makes you very uncomfortable. It becomes this incredible obstacle that feels like a nuisance and a distraction.
You wish you didn’t have to do it. Life would be so much better. You would have more time to do other things.
Then you think about all this running around and lifting stuff. What are you, a monkey? You say you are an intelligent human being. You’d rather take medicine when you feel sick instead of trying to work so hard at preventing yourself from getting sick. That just takes way too long. You say you have the technology to fix your problems quickly, right?
Well… yes… you can fix your problem by covering your open wounds, but to stop the actual bleeding you have to try to prevent yourself from getting cut.
The truth is that while you are an intelligent human being, you are also a vigorous animal. You need to move your body as much as you need to use your brain.
And when your animal body gets sick from too much inactivity, no medicine will fix the problem because the root cause is laziness.
Which addiction is holding you back?
- TV: Not only is it sedentary, watching TV can be a lonely activity. Did you know verbal development in children can regress from extensive TV watching?
- Computers/Phones: Entertainment, socializing, shopping, studying, researching and working. Even though connecting with the world on the internet feels like a social thing to do, in actual real life you are being anti-social to the people in your surroundings. According to a 2015 study conducted by comScore Canada, Canadians use the internet far more than any other population averaging 36.3 hours a month. Americans and Britons are next.
- Reading/Studying: While the brain is learning, the body is not. Studying for hours with no activity for a long period of time can place the body in a state of decline.
- Socializing: Sitting in restaurants, in people’s homes, in coffee shops and in bars for hours.
- Driving: a convenient way to commute and travel chosen over walking and/or cycling.
An exercise program has the potential to interrupt each of the above addictions. That interruption might feel offensive, but it also has the potential to be life-changing.
But before that happens, you need to understand the thoughts that reinforce the addictions.
Most common excuses not to start an exercise program:
- No time: You are too busy serving others at work, doing chores, travelling, and visiting family and friends. Your time spent on others is more important than spending it on yourself, and you think you are not worthy of exercise.
- Too old: Most of your friends and family are not active. You are obligated to your “adult” responsibilities. Most gyms and exercise programs are full of young people. Besides, how can exercise help your old body and mind? You may believe everything is downhill from here.
- Injured: You have a chronic injury and just thinking of moving your body makes it hurt even more.
- Too tired: You are tired most of the time and so you cannot even begin to think of exerting your body further. You will be too exhausted.
- Lazy: You like your life the way it is. You don’t feel like getting up. Easy living is your style and so far you have been doing okay. Not great, but okay.
- Denial: You don’t need exercise. You have a comfortable life and you like it that way. Sometimes you get sick but that’s just life and you can live with it. Your brain will have to adjust to make room for new thoughts in planning an exercise program. For example:
- Making time. Make it yours and let others know it’s your time to do something special for yourself. Yes, you are special and you deserve to heal your life. This will be good for the people who interact with you. They will see and feel the new and improved you. They will start asking questions and perhaps follow in your steps.
- Exercise is for all ages. If you are embarrassed to tell your sedentary social friends and family about your new life, exercise secretly until they notice you looking and feeling better. Action speaks volumes.
- You can work around injuries. Seek professional advice first. Isolated strength training can reduce body pains in other parts of the body.
- Being tired just makes you feel more tired to start a program. Exercise gives you more energy for at least 24 to 48 hours after a session.
- Why settle for less? Why not feel great instead of mediocre?
- You need exercise. It will help you live a longer, sexier, more vigorous life.
- Don’t listen to the naysayers. This is very, very important. There will be some people who will criticize you because they are jealous, fearful, or ignorant. You have to find a way to work around their negative energy.
Need help getting started? Here are some inspiring words:
“A good strong man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world. Oh, wait sorry….that’s exercise. Exercise does that.”
“Once you see results, it becomes an addiction.”
“Working out is my mood changer.”
“You earn your body.”
“We don’t stop exercising because we grow old, we grow old because we stop exercising.”
Thank you and good luck!